When County Attorney John Forrest asked about water availability at the site, Patterson said the Old Brock area has had significant water problems related to both the insufficiency of adequate water and contamination due to oil and gas activities.
He said most of the wells in the area— because they are cheaper to dig — tap the shallower Paluxy aquifer, which lies 80 to 120 feet below the surface.
“The water is available in the Trinity layer, which starts at about 350 feet of depth,” he said, so if the owner is going to drill a well, it’s going to cost them. As long as everybody’s informed up front when they sell the lots.”
When contacted, Dennis Ledford, one of several owners of Eagle View Development, first said he was unaware of any water issues. He said it is generally known that the desirable zone is the Trinity; it's a question of cost effectiveness.
“I know there are a substantial number of wells in Canyon West, and I haven't heard of problems there,” he said. “I know a lot of people on the Paluxy who manage to live life adequately.”
After talking with the Democrat and a local well-driller, Ledford called back to say that the well driller told him that all wells in that area are drilled in the Trinity.
“My information indicates that the well-driller wouldn't even try to find the Paluxy; it's too shallow,” he said. “The Trinity there is about 240 feet deep.”
Ledford said the development, which will get underway after the county approves the final plat, will have concrete streets, underground utilities and an “incredible” view.
Patterson told the court that the saltwater contamination is due to inadequate casing in wells established in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
Over the years, the saltwater eroded the steel pipe used in construction and seeped to the surface, he said, spreading mainly into the Paluxy.